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Timber Tiger Ryan ST replica Light Sport
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Text, photos, and website Copyright Nick Pfannenstiel   (303) 725-5439
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Nick Pfannenstiel, designer and dreamer for Timber Tiger Aircraft, Inc., has been obsessed with aviation since a very early age.  Like many others, the obsession started with model airplanes, both of the static display and radio control types.  Model kits were fun, but the journey to designing airplanes began at age 14. The discovery of the "X-Plane" flight simulator, along with "Plane Maker", fueled the desire to create new things, try new ideas, and begin drawing up airframes.

Along the way, many engineering books were purchased and many nights were spent researching online.  The study of aerodynamics led to the study of materials.

At the age of 16, Nick got his foot in the door at an airplane maintenance shop at Jefferson County Airport in Colorado (now Rocky Mountain Metropolitain Airport).  Scrubbing toilets and floors wasn't the most glamorous job in the world, but helping the shop's mechanics helped earn a job as the parts department manager and eventually a pilot's license at the age of 18.

Everything was of interest.  No airplane was anything less than beautiful to Nick, at least in some way.  But his main areas of interest were homebuilts and vintage aviation.  Over 30 sets of airplane blueprints were collected and studied between the ages of 14 and 30.  Assemblies for four airplane projects (a Pietenpol Air Camper fuselage, Hatz Bantam tail feathers, and two Timber Tiger STOL fuselages) were started before settling on the Ryan ST as the ideal first plane.

The airport parts department job went well for several years.  Many friends were made.  One such friend perished in a plane crash and everything changed soon after.  Aviation was no longer a desirable place to be.  This would change for the better years later.

In October of 2006, Nick created the award-winning Flatliner Rod Shop, Inc.  He ran the business (and still does), grew with it, learned fine-detail work, learned management and people skills, and found the time to begin dreaming of planes once again.

With the support of his wife, Nick began the actual design phase of the 95% scale Ryan ST in June of 2015.  Construction began in early 2016.  Though not a professional engineer, the loss of pilot friends and other life experiences prompted Nick to design the airplane to the best of his abilities, calculations being checked over and over, professional engineers being consulted as required.  Many parts were built several times as manufacturing processes were fine-tuned.  Every part of the plane was re-drawn no less than three times, sometimes as much as 12 times.  "X-Plane" was a valuable tool in confidence-building.

And that leaves us in the present.  The Ryan ST project is going strong and will soon be available for everyone!